Carolyn Torino was working for a major electrical company for 23 years when she was laid off last October.
She’s been without a job since then, and has really looked for employment since after the winer holidays. Some positions she was overqualified for, other times companies strung her along for a bit and she wasn’t having much luck with online job search sites.
“I was looking at listings for positions that were supposedly in Suffern, but when you click on it, you see they’re actually in Parsippany or White Plains,” said Torino, of Hillburn. “I want to stay around here for work. At my last company, I never had to miss work because it snowed or anything, it was just easy to get to.”
Tuesday morning, Torino, who is looking for a job in accounting, signed up for a new job website and found listings for 32 entries in Rockland County. She was one of the first people to officially sign up the Ramapo Jobs Connector, a new website geared toward finding Rockland residents jobs. The site -- Ramapo.TweetMyJobs.com -- launched Tuesday, and was brought to Ramapo by Supervisor Christopher P. St. Lawrence, the town board and TweetMyJobs, a services that allows job seekers to find job listings through social media.
“This gives this opportunity to utilize the social platforms like never before,” St. Lawrence said.
St. Lawrence launched the site Tuesday morning from the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Suffern. He was joined by representatives from the town board, TweetMyJobs, employers who already signed up to use the site and other elected officials. He said the town is always looking for ways to find its residents jobs, and it recently worked with Tomorrow’s Workplace and the state to set up a program that will see 24 longtime unemployed residents go through the Tomorrow’s Workplace program and earn jobs with the Town of Ramapo.
“Today we’re launching something that is really just another piece in the long history of this town and this town board of bringing economic opportunities to the Town of Ramapo,” he said.
The job seekers will create profiles to describe the kind of jobs they’re looking for and where. The site then sends the seekers listings for jobs that fit those descriptions to the seeker’s Twitter account. The job listings can also get sent to your phone.
“There is still a great demand for jobs and for people to get employment,” St. Lawrence said. “This job connector does even more than that. This will give the ability for people that have a job, in this dedicated really well-educated work force here in Rockland County, it will give them the ability to search and find an even better job. It will give them that ability by utilizing a platform that will be free to the job seeker, and free also to the businesses.”
The site is free to use for both job seekers and employers looking to hire, and it’s open to people and companies throughout the county. Ramapo is the first town in the country to team with TweetMyJobs to create a local site, partially following the lead of Atlanta and Newark, two cities that have done the same.
Torino said she signed up for the site Tuesday morning and got the responses immediately, but hasn’t had much time to look through them yet.
“I saw one listing that was right down the street from my old job,” she said. “The site seemed really to use as well.”
In her months of looking, Torino said she hadn’t found as many job listings as were sent to her Tuesday morning alone.
Brendan Carter, of TweetMyJobs, said that site will allow for smaller companies to compete with larger ones when searching for jobs as well.
Carlos Blanco, owner of Congers-based Air Kool Mechanical Contracting, Inc., said it’s about time a site was built that can help to simplify the employee-searching process and make sure he finds the kind of workers he needs.
“One of the the most difficult things I’ve had in my 40 years is finding qualified people,” he said.
St. Lawrence added that the town will not be able to see people’s personal information, but will have the ability to see what kind of jobs people are looking for, what kinds of jobs employers are looking for and what kinds of jobs are providing the most matches. The site also features an app for smart phones that allows people to point their phone around in public to see if any nearby businesses have openings.
“It is really the future, and the future is here right now,” St. Lawrence said. “We’re doing it in this town.”